Interview with Matt Kepnes of @nomadicmatt: Lucky 13 Questions 27

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So, I have been hanging out with Nomadic Matt for the first time in person during the last few weeks in Thailand and, surprisingly to the both of us, we have got along famously. It wasn’t always so. For quite some time, I had a feud with Matt — a totally one sided feud that he didn’t know anything about.

nomadic matt kepnes

Back when I was a baby blogger, my first post that ever really got any traction was one called “The Hotel Rules.”  I was on the road and someone tweeted that there should be a guide to good behavior in hostels and dorms and I tried to roll out a witty post about it. Off the same Twitter discussion, Matt wrote a post a few days after me called “Hostel Etiquette.”

Mine is a lot funnier, but that is beside the point…

Someone commented on my post that this Nomadic Matt guy had stolen my idea. I chimed in quickly that I read both and I was sure he hadn’t. Then… Matt dropped a comment in and I read between the lines as him thinking “why would I bother to rip off a post idea from this nobody.” Yea, I was reading way, way too much into it, but hell, I tend to get annoyed pretty easily sometimes.

So began about an 18 month feud. I unfollowed him on Twitter. Didn’t re-tweet any of this stuff. Didn’t read his site. He was dead to me. Then again, he had no idea this was the case.

So a few months ago, we were having some discussions on travel blogging topic on one of the Facebook forums for such drivel, he was agreeing with what I was saying, and he sent me a Facebook friend request. So, I accepted and felt it somehow important to explain this one-way secret feud to him. His reply:

Damn, I knew you have hated me for some time, but had no idea why.

I suppose that sums up the futility of a secret feud. So, I bought him a few buckets on Khao San Road a few weeks ago in Bangkok. Secret, private, undisclosed, silly feud officially over.

And he is going to say this entire intro was about me and not him, so in the effort to properly plug his already-popular website, Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site, let me say it is a damn good resource for all things budget travel. He is soon to have an incredible remake of the look on the site and I eagerly await the publication of his book — and yes, he is one of the few that has actually inked a book deal while travel blogging. O’ yea, follow him on Twitter also, I finally am…


1. Top spot in the world that you haven’t been to yet?

Bhutan. Everything I’ve heard about the country only makes me want to go there and the fact they practice pretty good sustainable tourism makes me want to support it, even if it is expensive.

2. How many languages can you order a beer in?

Around 10. At least in Thai, English, Spanish, French, Swedish, German… and a few more that I can only remember while… drinking.

3. Word or phrase that makes you cringe every time you hear it or read it?

The use of the word “great.” I’ve personally now cut it out of everything I write.

Manchester United Wayne Rooney arms raised

few teams bring the love/hate more than Man U

4. Favorite sports team?

Manchester United.

5. The longest you were grounded (or most you were punished in some form) by your parents was when you did _________.

I got very drunk when I was a teenager and my dumb friends took me home because they didn’t know what to do and got scared. I was in a lot of trouble.

6. Worst award winning movie you’ve ever seen?

Moulin Rouge.

moulin rouge movie poster

singing, dancing, good looking stars, one a GINGER... what not to love??!!

7. You semi-famously have said you need to marry a Swedish “ginger.” First, explain to the Americans what a ginger is, so you don’t appear too weird and then tell us… why?

Gingers are people with red hair and I love them because I find the red hair alluring and anything that comes from Sweden is amazing. I mean have you seen the women? Wow!

8. Musical group you would most want to see live?

A couple groups I haven’t seen live but would want to is a reunited Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd.

9. Who’s tweets make you smile the most when we see them in your feed?

Yours. No, not really. I can’t say I have 1 favorite but a few include: Legal Nomads, Where is Jenny, Uncornered Market, and Irish Polyglot.

10. You recently wrote a great post about why Thailand is your favorite country — now tell us the secret spot (town, beach, hotel, bar, whatever) in Thailand that you’ve never mentioned on your blog, in an attempt to keep it all to yourself.

If I told you that, it wouldn’t be a secret. I do have 1 favorite beach in Thailand that I go to every time I visit the country but I’m not giving that name up. The only people there are me and some Thais. I’m not giving up my beach paradise.

american beauty movie scene bathtub naked teenager with roses

ummm, Matt... which message about life were you talking about again??

11. You favorite movie of all time.

American Beauty. I love the message about life.

12. Worst mistake you see bloggers make?

The worst? Well, among bloggers who want to make a business or career out of it is not having a long term strategy or any goals about where they want to go and what they want to do.

13. Give us your favorite pizza toppings.

Pineapple and Mushroom.

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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

27 thoughts on “Interview with Matt Kepnes of @nomadicmatt: Lucky 13 Questions

    • Nomadic Matt

      It’s in the Gulf of Thailand on one of the islands there.

      Some not so known spots:

      Isaan (Northeastern Thailand)
      Ko Kut
      Ko Adang
      Ko Ravi

      Hardly anyone goes to any of these spots…

  • Erin

    I love your secret feud story – that’s probably far too common in the travel blogging world. Glad you made peace and had fun in Bangkok.

    And yes, we want to know where that beach is!

  • Steve

    He’s a Man U fan and he didn’t like Moulin Rouge?
    I’ll take over the secret internet feud from now on. it ok if I still follow him on Twitter though?

  • Mikeachim

    Agreeing with Alastair McK. over on FB – that’s a great intro you have there. Really nice to read, and a timely reminder of how tricky and misleading this virtual lark can be – and how easy it is to jump to wrong conclusions. (Done my share of that, frankly).

    That said, I’m feeling like I need some attention, so Matt? Michael?

    I hate BOTH of you.

    And you know why? *Because*. Yes, just because. That’s all the reason I’m giving you. Deal with it.

    I hate you both and I hope your backpacks catch fire and your boots explode.

  • Courtney Scott

    Glad to see two of the first people I EVER knew in the travel world make peace! Hilarious read Michael.

  • DTravelsRound

    Hahaha!! I love that you had a one-sided feud with Matt. I can only imagine the two of you together. I am sure it would result in some seriously hilarious videos on my phone. Great interview!

  • Jodi

    Thanks for the mention Matt! Sorry I missed you guys in the BKK – looks like you had a great time. Mike, happy birthday!

  • Jeremy Branham

    So Michael you enjoy pissing people off so much you make an argument in your head to get mad at someone who isn’t even fighting with you? That doesn’t surprise me! 🙂

    I have to admit that I held a little grudge against Matt a while back for a similar stupid reason as you. Simply put, jealousy. Having a budget travel blog myself, I hated that he had such a big site and stole a bit of my thunder. It’s difficult having a budget travel site when someone has already laid such a good foundation and travels as much as Matt.

    Yet I have come to the point that I am just thankful. Thankful for what you, Matt, and the many others who blog bring to the table. Just happy to be a part of it and enjoy doing what I am doing.

    Another great round of Lucky 13! And I am with Matt – there is something great about the redheads! 🙂

  • Jeremy Branham

    Oh yeah, one more thing – I hate Many U!!! Seriously, I will hold a grudge against Matt for that one! 🙂

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